This thesis discusses the design and experimental evaluation of a novel seismic resistant reinforced concrete (RC) coupled shear wall system. In this system, the widely-used unbonded post-tensioned floor slab construction method is adapted to couple (i.e., link) two RC wall piers, providing significant performance and construction benefits over conventional RC coupling beams in high seismic regions. Previous experiments of post-tensioned coupled wall structures are limited to floor-level coupling beam subassemblies. The current study extends the available research to multi-story structures by construction and testing of a 15% scale eight story prototype specimen. This test is monitored by four digital image correlation systems simultaneously in order to gather data from all necessary areas of the specimen. The experimental specimen includes the foundation, the first three floors of the shear walls, and the associated coupling beams. The upper stories of the building are simulated with hydraulic jacks that supply the appropriate bending moment, shear, and axial forces at the top of the laboratory structure. This thesis compares the measured displacements and derived parameters of the laboratory structure measured by the digital image correlation systems with predictions from design models. Experimental and design predictions of several key behavior parameters are shown to match well. Several design parameters that are unable to be measured from the specimen are able to be predicted using the validated models. Coordination of the four simultaneous digital image correlation systems presented some challenges -- recommendations for future deployment are discussed. Future work involves the construction and testing of large scale (40%) specimens to validate the approach.

Date of publication

Fall 1-16-2014

Document Type




Persistent identifier